Cardinal Koch Visits the LWF on Mount of Olives

(Left) His Eminence Kurt Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and LWF President Bishop Dr. Munib A. Younan. © ELCJHL / Elizabeth McHan

LWF President Bishop Younan Gives Thanks for Common Work with Roman Catholics

JERUSALEM/GENEVA, 25 May 2012 (Lutheran World Information)–The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan thanked Kurt Cardinal Koch for the common work between Lutherans and Roman Catholics, when the Vatican official visited the LWF offices on the Mount of Olives, East Jerusalem.

During the 24 May meeting with Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), Younan said the 45 years of bilateral discussions between the LWF and the PCPCU had resulted in productive dialogue “in our continued search for Christian unity.”

The LWF president urged that in the time ahead, both partners “jointly lift up what we have achieved together in our patient, hard and hopeful work, and point together gratefully to all the agreements we have reached.”

On the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, Younan underlined three essential dimensions for the planning, saying, “We believe the commemoration must be global and ecumenical, and must be commemorated in a spirit of repentance, not because we regret the Reformation, rather because mistakes were made on both sides.”

The LWF president also reiterated his hope that the common statement “From Conflict to Communion” would soon be completed by the bilateral dialogue commission, and that a shared understanding of the Reformation might be reached in the processing of “Harvesting the Fruits,” as proposed by the PCPCU.

Younan, who is head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL), noted that Lutherans and Roman Catholics share a vision for just peace in the Middle East, supporting a two-state solution with a shared Jerusalem. He emphasized the importance today of common witness in the Holy Land and throughout the Church of Christ.

Through its congregational and educational ministries, the LWF member church ELCJHL reaches out to thousands of individuals and families each year in Jerusalem, other parts of the West Bank and Amman, Jordan.

Services provided by the LWF through its Department for World Service in East Jerusalem include the Augusta Victoria Hospital (AVH), a health facility offering emergency and specialized care in the Occupied Territories, to all patients regardless of race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin or political persuasion. The AVH particularly gives Palestinians access to pediatric dialysis and cancer treatment.